Sunday, December 31, 2006

Safe Harbor

This post may confuse some of you out there, but bear with me. I’ll try to keep it short.
Just a few minutes ago a friend mentioned that she is “Not afraid to die.” and I know exactly what she means. There is no fear of death for a child of God. I do not want to live a single second longer than God has use for me on this earth. I can echo Paul’s famous, “21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.” Philippians 1:21-24
I will never have such a ministry as Paul‘s, and I’m not really comparing our journeys, but we share the same Spirit, and destination.
Consider what this means for a child of God-with no fear of death, what is there to worry about? Nothing.
How would you like to go through life without carrying the burden of worry? I’d be a liar if I said that I had no worries at all-I’m human, and have fears and concerns like anyone else. But they are piffles, small change, hardly enough to break a sweat over. And even the few tiny worries that I do carry around I can lay down at the feet of my Lord.
“6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7.
No matter what happens in this life, I know that I am assured of both God’s Love and His Providence, meaning that nothing can happen to me that He does not cause or allow to happen, both good and bad. The good is to bless me, and the bad is to teach me, so really, it’s all good, all working to Glorify God by conforming me to the image of Christ. Which I do not deserve. Charles Spurgeon, in writing a foreword to one of his books, signed as “His unworthy servant”. I am also His unworthy servant. I have been quite a reclamation project, but His Grace is greater than my faults and weaknesses.
If you wish to go through life stressed out and worrying about every little thing (and the BIG things, like life and death) you can go for it. You might even think that I am a deluded fool to trust in an invisible God Who, according to most of the world, doesn’t even exist. Most of the world is as wrong as kittens on ice skates.
I follow Jesus who said, “28“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different…

Steak and eggs, ham, hamburger, chicken done in interesting ways-I like it all. I enjoy meat and potatoes, but if you fancy up a dish with sauces and crinoline, and it’s good, I’ll eat that, too. I will never be mistaken for a gourmand. Part of that comes from years of working in kitchens-like the magicians assistant, I know all the tricks.
No one would peg me as a musical gourmand, either-I love many different types of music, and some of it is fancy, much of it is plain, but what I enjoy, I enjoy. Flatt & Scruggs and Scriabin. Mozart and Willy.
In the picture accompanying this post the object of Horowitz and Borge’s admiration is an artist I’ve recently found: Gabriela Montero. She is THAT GOOD. I was listening to her rendition of a classic tonight and she was note perfect with Vladimir Horowitz-she wasn’t copying him, but they were both absolute in their interpretations of the piece.
Montero has moved to America after being born in Venezuela. Horowitz found sanctuary here in America in 1917 a few steps ahead of the Russian Communist uprising. He returned to Moscow in 1986 to play a triumphant concert which turned out to be the first sounding of the death knell for the Communist Party, which remained in power for just a few more years.
Victor Borge arrived on these shores in 1940 after his native Denmark fell to the Nazis-luckily he was playing a concert in Sweden at the time, and made his way to America.
Hugo Chavez may not be a Lenin or Hitler, but Gabriela Montero moving to America seems to follow the same pattern. Here there is freedom to be an artist, to make a living, to BE.
I encourage everyone to seek out her music, see if you also enjoy her interpretations of Classical favorites. She is young yet, and becoming established. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Looking For Holy In All The Odd Places

I wonder if the 2006 edition of Barbra Streisand ever looks back on her previous incarnations and thinks, “What the heck she was doing?”
Through the years Barbra has blessed many songs and songwriters with her voice. It is a great voice, and I enjoy her music, although the cliché gag doesn’t hold true: I’m straight as a ruler.
Anyway, tonight I was listening to the 1967 edition of Barbra Streisand-The Christmas Album, and as she sang “Silent Night” it occurred to me that “Sleep in Heavenly Peace” is said to the baby Jesus Who, being the Prince of Peace, Would sleep Heavenly. Others may have made that connection decades ago-I never said I was quick.
On the same album, after “Ave Maria”, Barbra presents a reverential, faithful, “Lord’s Prayer”. I wouldn’t have thought to include it on a Christmas album, but there it is, and I like her rendition.
Again, as usual, Bethlehem is too dangerous for many tourists to visit this Christmas-there’s no room at the foxhole. But the Prince of Peace, when He returns as King, will make all of Israel a peaceful, beautiful garden. Israel itself will be much larger then the few acres they inhabit now-
“14The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. 16“I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. 17“Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” 18Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.” Genesis 13:14-18

24“My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them. 25“They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever. 26“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. 27“My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 28“And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.” Ezekiel 37:24-28

“He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.”
Thanks, Isaac Watts, Lowell Mason. You were looking forward to the return of the Lord, just as we are. Let Earth receive her King!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Muslims Are Attacking Our Free Speech

It’s here. Remember when we had the freedom to speak our mind without having our heads lopped off? Here in America we are supposed to enjoy Freedom of Speech. You are allowed to disagree with someone else, even your own government, without fear of being silenced.
My friend Vilmar over at Right Wing Howler has been silenced. His ISP took his website off-line because CAIR-the Council for American Islamic Relations-sent a letter complaining about his anti-Muslim exercise of Free Speech. When it disappeared I wrote to Vilmar, and he told me what happened-he doesn’t know when or if he will get back online. I warned months ago that Fine Dry Wit might disappear someday because of this type of censorship, and now it’s happened to someone I know.
Do you get this? Do you understand that this is a serious attack on Free Speech? One activist group has effectively silenced someone who spoke out against them. A group which defines itself as a propagator of interaction, a go between for relations between cultures. CAIR. Council for American Islamic Relations.
It seems as if the only relationship they are looking to bring about is their foot on our necks.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another Army

As you flit and flutter through the season of twinkly stars, jingly bells, and happy little faces, remember that there are families and individuals who struggle year round, and Christmas can feel very empty for them. Give generously in this season of giving to those who really need your charity. I like to give to charities at Christmas which have not compromised the message of Jesus and His visit to the world, and one of my favorites is The Salvation Army. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Harmony. What a wonderful word. We enjoy the concept of harmonizing, blending together, being in perfect order with our world. Orange marmalade is a great example of harmony between fruit, sugar and pectin. I’d love some orange marmalade on toast with right now. Do you know what makes it work so well?
Heat. Without heat there’s no proper combining of the ingredients.
It may sound odd to state it this way, but our world’s finest moments of harmony have come when we’ve been feeling heat, have all had to depend on each other.
What I see in America now is the opposite of “United We Stand”. It may be our undoing. We can’t even agree that we are still “One Nation, under God” without some saying, “God who? There is no God, and you’ve just offended me by mentioning one.”
Be offended. I would rather offend you by mentioning Jesus Christ than offend Him by keeping quiet.
“I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…”
But the song is “Amazing Grace” and the world is out of tune.
How will God bring the world back into harmony with Him?